Integration of Faith and Learning

How do we live out our faith in a setting that prohibits us from talking about it?

His grace is the model for how we are to treat others–rendering favor when we don’t have to and changing our focus from giving students what they ‘deserve’ to seeing them how God sees them. Our place is not to condemn and criticize, it is to lift up our students.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23

James Fowler 6 Stages of Faith

1. Intuitive- Projective Faith

2. Mythic- Literal Faith

3. Synthetic- Conventional Faith

4. Individuative- Reflective Faith

5. Conjunctive Faith

6. Universalizing Faith

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Separation of Church and State - The legal side of being a Christian teacher in a public school.

Below are frequently asked questions and common issues that most teachers in public schools face–whether they consider themselves religious or not:
Is it okay to display holiday decorations with religious symbols in the classroom?
  • No–technically, religious decorations are not allowed in public school classrooms under federal law in the United States. They may be used as teaching aids during lessons, but not displayed even seasonally as part of your decor.

Can I teach my students about Christmas?

  • Teach about, yes. Celebrate, no. You may display symbols of religious holidays as part of your lesson, provided you teach about multiple religious traditions and do not endorse any particular one.

Can I share my religious views with students?

  • No. It is a federal law that you are not allowed to share your views with your students.

Can I participate in a prayer group at my school?

  • Yes, you can participate in after-hours activities as long as it is clear that you are there as an individual and not as a school representative, and that your school is not endorsing the activity.

Tips for Christian Teachers in public schools

"Students have more religious freedom than we as teachers do. Our job is to make sure that all of our students feel comfortable, respected, and accepted in our classrooms. The best and only truly legal way to express our spiritual beliefs in school is through the witness of how we live our lives; striving to be modest in appearance and attitude, honest and full of integrity, avoiding gossip, helping others whenever we can, showing patience and respect to our students, and sharing the joy and peace that we have found in God through a positive attitude."

  • Pray for your students
  • Teach good values
  • Live out your faith
  • Practice patience and encouragement
  • Try to see all students with the knowledge that they are children of God

A Message for Christian Teachers

The following article is a wonderful message from the personal perspective of a teacher.

Discussion Questions

  1. What might be the hardest part about not being able to share your faith with your students?
  2. Why is it important to have Christian teachers in public schools even though they cannot discuss their faith?
  3. What are some practical ways you as teacher can live out your faith in the classroom?
  4. How can you use Fowler's Stages of Faith Development to best model your faith at a level that is appropriate for your students?